AAA says per se limits are ultimately useless.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a new report that claims fatal accidents involving drivers who recently used marijuana have doubled in Washington since the state has legalized the drug.

According to the foundation, researchers found the percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who recently used marijuana more than doubled from eight to 17 percent between 2013 and 2014.  The report goes on to say that one in six drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had recently used marijuana.


In a statement, the President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said, “The significant increase in fatal crashes involving marijuana is alarming." Peter Kissinger went on to say “Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug.”

More interestingly, the foundation points to new research which indicates the legal limits for driving under the influence of marijuana are "arbitrary and unsupported by science."  AAA says this could result in unsafe motorists going free and others being wrongfully convicted of impaired driving.

As the agency explains, some states have created legal limits - known as per se limits - which specify the maximum amount of active THC that drivers can have in their system.  However, the foundation notes these limits are problematic because there is no scientific evidence that shows "drivers reliably become impaired at a specific level of marijuana in the blood."  AAA goes on to say marijuana can affect people differently which makes it "challenging to develop consistent and fair guidelines."

Given the fact that blood tests normally require a warrant and transport to a testing facility, a process which can take more than two hours, AAA says impaired drivers could have their THC levels drop to below legal limits by the time a test is administered.

Source: AAA via Motor Trend

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